Healing Methods

With the growing public interest in new healing approaches, healthcare researchers have undertaken significant research in complimentary and alternative therapies. (This area is also known as holistic; mind-body therapies; functional medicine to name a few.) Please find below the latest research on the various healing modalities. Click the tabs to learn more about each of our healing methods.



“The Use of Self-Reiki for Stress Reduction and Relaxation” J Integr Med. September, 2015

Twenty students at Stockton University used self-Reiki over 20 weeks and 18 reported significant reduction in stress. There was a significant reduction in stress levels from pre-study to post-study. With one exception, stress levels at 20 weeks did not return to pre-study stress levels.

“Effects of Distant Reiki on Pain, Anxiety and Fatigue in Oncology Patients in Turkey: A Pilot Study.” Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015

Fatigue, stress and pain are common symptoms among cancer patients, affecting quality of life. The study showed that five-30 minute sessions helped to reduce all three symptoms.

“The Effect of Reiki on Work Related Stress of the Registered Nurse” Journal of Holistic Nursing. March, 2011

The Reiki Master Teacher group at a large academic, urban medical center studied the effects of Reiki on work-related stress in Registered Nurse Reiki I class participants. Research suggests that work-related stress is an influential factor in nursing burnout and retention. Seventeen participants provided follow-up data. Results indicated that practicing Reiki more often resulted in reduced perceived stress levels. Data from this small pilot study supports educating nurses about Reiki practice to decrease work-related stress.

“Effects of Reiki on Post-Cesarean Delivery Pain, Anxiety, and Hemodynamic Parameters: A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial”. Pain Manag Nurs. June, 2015

The study investigated the effect of Reiki on pain, anxiety and hemodynamic parameters on postoperative days 1 and 2 in patients who had undergone cesarean delivery. Reiki was given in the first 24 to 48 hours after delivery for 30 minutes. Results showed that Reiki reduced the intensity of pain, the value of anxiety and the breathing rate as well as the need for and number of analgesics. It did not affect blood pressure or pulse rate. Reiki application as a nursing intervention is recommended as a pain and anxiety-relieving method in women after cesarean delivery.

“Reiki Reduces Burnout Among Community Mental Health Clinicians.” J. Altern Complement Med. August, 2015

Clinicians working in community mental health clinics are at high risk for burnout. Burnout is a problem involving emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. The purpose of the study was to determine if 30 minutes of healing touch could reduce burnout in community mental health clinicians. Reiki was statistically significantly better than the control group in reducing burnout among community mental health clinicians. Reiki could be helpful in community mental health settings for the mental health of the practitioners.


December 4, 2015 Medline Plus’ HealthDay publishes “Sense of Purpose in Life May Boost Longevity, Heart Health”

The article cites recent research where respondents stated that “those who felt useful to others were 20 percent less likely to die during study period.”

December 8, 2015 Medline Plus’ HealthDay publishes “Optimistic Outlook May Boost Recovery After Heart Attack.”

The article reports on Harvard researchers who tracked patients after two weeks of a heart attack and found that positive patients were more physically active and less likely to be rehospitalized.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) offers a video discussion on Prayer Works.

In a 2012 HuffPost Religion blog by Richard Schiffman, entitled Why People Who Pray are Healthier Than Those Who Don’t, Mr, Schiffman reviews research showing how prayer can influence health and life.

The Mindfulness Techniques

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has published a document titled “Relaxation Techniques for Health: What You Need to Know.”

This NCCIH document is helpful in outlining the various approaches, current studies on specific illnesses and considerations for seeking mindfulness services.

Kaiser Permanente produces Health Journals that provide guided imagery meditations for specific illnesses and diseases. Enjoy their meditations by visiting Kaiser Permanente’s Health Journey.


Tai Chi is a form of Qigong and both are an ancient form of healing practice. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has significant resources on the research, effectiveness, and specific illnesses helped through Tai Chi/Qi Gong. Please visit nccih.nih.gov/health/taichi

“Curriculum, Practice, and Diet Predict Health Among Experienced Taiji and Qigong Practitioners.” J. Altern. Complement Med. 2015 Dec 18

This study was conducted to explore the potential influence of curriculum, frequency of practice and dietary quality on the health of experienced Taiji and qigong practitioners. The researchers gathered information from a volunteer sample of Taiji practitioners from across the United States. Practitioners’ health status did not show the typical negative association with age and was positively associated with complex curricula, practice and high-quality diets. Intervention designers, Taiji teachers, and practitioners should consider the potential influence of curricula, out-of-class practice, and healthy diets for optimizing health-related gains and minimizing age-related losses in interventions and community-based programs.

“From Body to Mind and Spirit: Qigong Exercise for Bereaved Persons with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-Life Illness.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015, Oct. 4

This study investigated the effects of bereavement on chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)-like illness by comparing bereaved and nonbereaved participants. It also adopted a random group design to investigate the effectiveness of Qigong on improving the well-being of bereaved participants. The Qigong intervention comprised 10 group sessions delivered twice a week for 5 weeks and home practice for at least three times a week lasting 15-30 minutes each. After three months, the mental fatigue and physical fatigue experienced by intervention group had declined significantly, and improvements on their spirituality and psychological QoL scores exceeded those of the control group.

“Qualitative Evaluation of Baduanjin (Traditional Chinese Qigong) on Health Promotion among an Elderly Community Population at Risk for Ischemic Stroke.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015 Sep 21.

Baduanjin is a traditional Chinese qigong that has been practiced for a long time in China as a mind-body exercise in community elderly populations. The objective of this study was to qualitatively evaluate the perceived benefit of regular Baduanjin qigong in community elders. A total of 20 participants who had completed the 12-week Baduanjin qigong training were interviewed regarding their perceived effect on physical and psychological health and whether Baduanjin qigong was suitable for the elderly. The findings suggest that regular Baduanjin qigong may be potentially helpful to promote the overall physical and psychological health of elderly community populations and may be useful and feasible as a body-mind exercise in the health promotion in the elderly community populations.

“The Effects of Qigong for Adults with Chronic Pain.” Am J Chin Med, 2015 Nov. 30

A systematic review was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of qigong as a treatment for chronic pain. Five electronic databases were searched from their date of establishment until July 2014. The review included 10 randomized clinical trials that compared the impacts of qigong on chronic pain with waiting list or placebo or general care. There was a statistically significant difference on reducing chronic pain between internal qigong and control. This study showed that internal qigong generated benefits on treating some chronic pain with significant differences. External qigong showed nonsignificant differences in treating chronic pain. Higher quality randomized clinical trials with scientific rigor are needed to establish the effectiveness of qigong in reducing chronic pain.

“Effects of non-sporting and sporting qigong on frailty and quality of life among breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.” Eur J. Oncol Nurs. 2015 Nov 21

This study explored the effects of non-sporting qigong (NSQC) and sporting qigong (SQC) on frailty and quality of life (QOL) of breast cancer patients during chemotherapy. Ninety-five participants were assigned to three groups: control, NSQG, and SQG. All patients performed the qigong interventions three times per week for at least 30 minutes per session. The conclusions were that both SQG and NSQG appeared to be beneficial for improving frailty and QOL among the breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy in the study. The results are preliminary and larger, well-constructed clinical studies are needed to verify the findings.


“Comparing the Effects of Reflexology and Footbath on Sleep Quality in the Elderly: A Controlled Clinical Trial.” Iran Red Crescent Med J 2015 Nov 1

Sleep disorders are common mental disorders reported among the elderly in all countries, and with nonpharmacological interventions, they could be helped to improve their sleep quality. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of two interventions, foot reflexology and foot bath, on sleep quality in elderly people. This three-group randomized clinical trial was conducted on 69 elderly man. The two experimental groups had reflexology and foot bath interventions for 6 weeks. The results showed that the PSQI scores after intervention compared to before it in the reflexology and foot bath groups were statistically significant, however, in the control group did not show a statistically significant difference. Conclusions of the study were suggesting that the training of nonpharmacological methods to improve sleep quality such as reflexology and foot bath be included in the elderly health programs. In addition, it is polysomnographic recordings be explored in future research.

“Revisiting Reflexology: Concept, Evidence, Current Practice and Practitioner Training” J Tradit Complement Med. 2015 September 28

This review aimed to revisit the concept of reflexology and examine its effectiveness, practices, and the training for reflexology practitioners. The articles published for the last 10 years were included. Previous systematic reviews failed to show concrete evidence for any specific effect of reflexology in any conditions. Due to its non-invasive, non-pharmacological complementary nature, reflexology is widely accepted and anecdotal evidence of positive effect reflexology in a variety of health conditions is available. Adequate training for practitioners is necessary to ensure the consistency of service provided.

“A Comparison of the Effects of Reflexology and Relaxation on Pain in Women with Multiple Sclerosis.” J Complement Integr Med 2015 Nov 18

The presence and severity of pain in individuals with MS has also been shown to be associated with higher levels of depression, functional impairment, and fatigue. It is common for MS patients and their caregivers to worry about narcotic addiction in the management of chronic pain. Therefore, this study aimed to determine and compare the effects of reflexology and relaxation on pain in women suffering from MS. This study was a single-blind randomized clinical trial performed on 75 patients with MS. Participants were randomly assigned to the three groups of reflexology, relaxation and control. Reflexology and relaxation were preformed within 4 weeks, twice a week for 40 minutes. Findings obtained from repeated measures ANOVA showed that the severity of pain significantly differed during different times in reflexology and relaxation, however, this difference was not significant in the control group. Fisher’s least significant difference revealed a significantly higher reduction in pain intensity scores in the reflexology group after the intervention, compared with the two other groups, but showed no significant differences between relaxation and control groups. The results showed that both interventions are effective in relieving pain in women in MS; however, it appears that the effect of reflexology on pain reduction is greater than that of relaxation. These two methods can be recommended as effective techniques.

“The Effect of Foot Reflexology on Anxiety, Pain, and Outcomes of the Labor in Primigravida Women.” Acta Med Iran 2015 Aug 5

The present study aimed to review and determine the effect of foot reflexology on anxiety, pain and outcomes of the labor in primigravida women. This clinical trial study was conducted on 80 primigravidam others who were divided randomly into an intervention group and control group. Results of this study show that reflexology reduces labor pain intensity, duration of labor, anxiety, frequency distribution of natural delivery and increases Apgar scores. Using this non-invasive technique, obstetricians can achieve, to some extent, to one of the most important goals of midwifery as pain relief and reducing anxiety during labor and encourage the mothers to have a vaginal delivery.

“Foot Reflexology in Feet Impairment of People With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Randomized Trial.” Rev Lat Am Enfermagem 2015 July-Aug 23

This study evaluated the effect of foot reflexology on feet impairment of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. This is a randomized, controlled and blind clinical trial. The Treated Group was provided 12 sessions on foot reflexology. Participants who received the therapy showed better scores in some impairment indicators related to skin and hair. The conclusion is that foot reflexology had a beneficial effect on feet impairment of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus, which makes it a viable therapy, deserving investment.

“Evaluation of the Effect of Reflexology on Pain Control and Analgesic Consumption After Appendectomy” J Altern Complement Med 2015 Dec 21

This clinical trial was conducted at the surgical emergency unit of Imam Reza Hospital in Iran. Pain intensity and analgesic consumption were compared between 105 patients before and immediately 1 hour, 6 hours, and 24 hours after the intervention in three groups. At the beginning of the study, the mean pain intensity in different groups according to analysis of variance was not significantly different however, there was a notable difference in pain intensity between the intervention and other groups after reflexology therapy. In addition, methadone consumption was significantly lower in the reflexology group than in the other two groups. The conclusion is that reflexology is effective for reducing pain after appendectomy surgery.

“Effects of Foot-Reflexology Massage on Fatigue, Stress and Postpartum Depression in Postpartum Women.” J Korean Acad Nurs 2015 Aug

This study was conducted to identify the effects of foot reflexology massage on fatigue, stress and depression of postpartum women. A total of 70 women were involved in two groups, the experimental group and the control group. Foot reflexology massage was provided to the experimental group once a day for three days. The level of fatigue in the experimental group was significantly lower than the control group. The level of cortisol in the urine of women in the experimental group was significantly lower than the control group. The level of depression in the experimental group was significantly lower than the control group. The results show that the foot reflexology massage is an effective nursing intervention to relieve fatigue, stress and depression for postpartum women.

“The Effect of Foot Reflexology on Physiologic Parameters and Mechanical Ventilation Weaning Time in Patients Undergoing Open-Heart Surgery: A Clinical Trial Study.” Complement Ther Clin Pract 2015 Aug

The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of foot reflexology on physiological parameters and mechanical ventilation weaning time in patients undergoing open-heart surgery. This was a double blind three group randomized controlled trial. Ninety-six patients were recruited. The study groups respectively received foot reflexology, simple surface touch and the routine care of the study setting. The study groups did not differ significantly in terms of physiological parameters. However, the length of weaning time in the experimental group was significantly shorter than the placebo and the control groups. The study findings demonstrated the efficiency of foot reflexology in shortening the length of weaning time.